Keller @ Large: Spare Us The Lies

BOSTON (CBS) – According to the coach of the Vancouver Canucks, Aaron Rome, the player who ended the season of Bruin Nathan Horton Monday night with one of the dirtiest blind-side hits in NHL history, was too emotional yesterday to discuss his suspension with the press.

Instead, he issued a carefully-worded statement expressing concern for the health of the player whose health he destroyed and claiming: “I try to play this game honestly and with integrity. As someone who has experienced this type of injury, I am well aware of its serious nature and have no desire for another player to experience it.”

Notice what Rome doesn’t say – that he didn’t do anything wrong.

Listen to Jon’s commentary:

That absurd claim was left to his coach, who called Horton’s near-manslaughter a “very unfortunate hit that turned bad…. It was a north-south play. It was a bit late. But anybody that’s played this game knows that you have to make a decision in a fraction of a second.”

A pack of lies like that has trouble standing up when the evidence to the contrary is right out in the open for all to see.

I have watched the video dozens of times, in regular and slow-motion, and it is quite obvious that Rome had Horton lined up for a crushing hit, had plenty of time to pull the punch, but instead left the ice to hurl himself, elbow high, into Horton’s head. It was a dirty hit by a player who is no stranger to the penalty box.

Among Canucks who played 60 games or less during the regular season, Rome was the leader in penalty minutes.

In the postseason, he was an impressive third on the team in penalty minutes, despite playing in seven fewer games than the first-and-second-place finishers.

The hit was a dumb, vicious play by a borderline player on a chippy team that led the league in minor penalties this year.

I don’t expect them to abandon their teammate. But spare us the lies and spin about a filthy cheap shot we all could see for ourselves.

You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. and 12:25 p.m. You can also watch Jon on WBZ-TV News.

More from Jon Keller
  • Tim

    Hmm I have been listening many years to WBZ and can’t recall Mr Keller ever taking an interest in hockey. Since he is NOW so well informed on the subject of cheap hits, perhaps he can have a look at one Zdeno Chara’s hit on Max Pacioretty of Montreal that ended his season and essentially Montreal’s hopes for a deep playoff run. That one had his teammates and coach in equally appalling mode, or worse, since there were claims from a certain “Dr Recchi” of embellishment of the injury -0 which included a broken cervical vertebra. NO SUSPENSION.

  • BostonIrish

    Tim- I agree with you. Chara should have been suspended. That was a very bad hit. Pacioretty was lucky that was the worst that happened to him.

    On Rome and the reaction of the Vancouver team, they’re sticking up for their teammate just like the Bruins stuck up for Chara.

  • blackbear1

    Tim and BostonIrish, where are you two from?? Montreal and/or Vancouver?? I’m sure Nathan Horton and the Bruins really appreciate your (non)support.

  • Todd

    Has Keller ever been @ the rink?!

  • Michelle Fuller Fitzgerald

    Tim, go watch the Chara video again. Then go read the rule book. Then admint you are wrong. Chara’s check was not a blindside. They were both going for the puck and he shoved him off the puck. It just happened at a place where there was go glass. Anywhere else on the ice and the injury would not have occurred. Certainly was no fault of Chara. Rome left his feet, targeted his head, and it was a blidside hit. Clearly you don’t know much about the rules of the game.

  • Tim

    shoved him off the puck??? The puck was even more long gone than it was for Rome/Horton. It was an interference call BTW. He pushed Pacioretty’s head into the stanchion, timed perfectly. Did he want to concuss him and break his vertrebrae? Probably not. But he did with a very dirty hi and he got away without suspension. I have seen it many times. I bet Mr Keller has not.

  • Michelle Fuller Fitzgerald

    Did you not watch the video? He didn’t push his head into the stantion. He pushed his shoulder to try to beat him to the puck. That ridiculous statement shows just how little you know about the game. There was no suspension because it was a clean hit. No elbow, no intent to injur. The last thing anyone would say about Chara is that he’s dirty. Just not true. Again, watch the video and you’ll see the only contact was a shove, no where near his head.

  • Tim

    we’ll agree to disagree. And there are many throughout the hockey world who agree with me as well as you, just as there are many who think Rome’s hit was a hockey play and many who don’t. But I won’t stoop to comments about what you might know or not know about hockey. I can comment about Mr Keller because he is a public voice who appears to have discovered hockey now that the Bruins are contending for the cup.

  • Michelle Fuller Fitzgerald

    Well that we can agree on! Go B’s!

  • BostonIrish

    Blackbear, I didn’t condone the hit! I think Rome should be suspended longer! I pointed out that the teammates and the fans of the Bruins, the teammates and the fans of Montreal, and the teammates and fans of Vancouver stick up for their guy! When their guy gets hit they hate it. When their guy does the hitting, he wasn’t at fault! I think that the hit on Horton was a bad hit and Rome is guilty! I do think, regardless of what you and Michelle (if your opinion differs from her it shows just how little you know about the game) that Chara was guilty of a very bad hit!

    • blackbear1

      BostonIrish, I know a lot about the game. I have played and coached. It is you who knows little. I think you had need to change your name to somethink else like “devils advocate”. I’m sure Michelle is a wonderfull lady, but I did not collaborate with her..

    • Michelle Fuller Fitzgerald

      then why wasn’t he suspended?

      • BostonIrish

        Gee, I really don’t know, Michelle Fuller Fitzgerald. Why don’t you tell me? Please tell me. I think you’re on to something there.

  • Stephen Stein

    Spare us the hyperbole. Rome’s hit was bad, but it wasn’t nearly as bad as McSorley’s assault of Brashear:

    Watch it at the 1:30 mark.

    That was Bruins-Canucks, too. I wonder if this has anything to do with that.

  • BostonIrish

    Why do I respond to such nonsense? Glutton, I guess.

    I voice my opinion regarding a hit by Chara and I’m either a traitor to the Bruins or I know little about the game, and, apparently, I change my name. That makes a lot of sense.

    That was a bad hit by Chara. My opinion.

    • Stephen Stein

      I’ve thought about this and watched it quite a bit ( Chara didn’t leave his feet; he didn’t even hit him in the head – it was shoulder to shoulder, driving Paci into the boards.

      If that post wasn’t there, would the damage have been so great? I don’t think so – I think it would have been a normal hit. So for me, it comes down to – did Chara drive him into that post deliberately? If so, it was very dirty – but I don’t think there’s evidence for that.

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